Roos gets to work, meets vice minister

by Jun Hongo

New U.S. Ambassador John Roos began his official duties Thursday after presenting Emperor Akihito with his credentials.

Roos met with Vice Foreign Minister Mitoji Yabunaka earlier in the morning. The Foreign Ministry said they exchanged opinions on strengthening bilateral ties and building mutual trust that would enable “frank exchanges of opinion.”

Roos, who arrived in town Wednesday, told Yabunaka he is honored to be serving in Japan and that President Barack Obama has stressed to him the deep relationship between Washington and Tokyo, and his responsibility to strengthen bilateral ties.

Yabunaka briefed Roos on the strong support among the Japanese public for the Japan-U.S. alliance. The two saw eye to eye on the desire to keep expanding mutual ties, the ministry said.

Roos also said his family was excited to be in Japan, with his son already attending an orientation at the American School in the morning.

He expressed enthusiasm about serving in Japan to reporters but did not take any questions.

Roos, a California-based lawyer and one of Obama’s major fundraisers during the presidential campaign, was sworn in Sunday.